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Amartya Sen

  • Indian philosopher
  • Born November 3, 1933

Amartya Kumar Sen, (Bengali: [ˈɔmort:o ˈʃen]; born 3 November 1933) is an Indian economist and philosopher, who since 1972 has taught and worked in the India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Sen has made contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indices of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries. He is the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University and member of faculty at Harvard Law School.


From the mid-1970s, I also started work on the causation and prevention of famines.




When the Nobel award came my way, it also gave me an opportunity to do something immediate and practical about my old obsessions, including literacy, basic health care and gender equity, aimed specifically at India and Bangladesh.




People's identities as Indians, as Asians, or as members of the human race, seemed to give way - quite suddenly - to sectarian identification with Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh communities.




It is also very engaging - and a delight - to go back to Bangladesh as often as I can, which is not only my old home, but also where some of my closest friends and collaborators live and work.




The curriculum of the school did not neglect India's cultural, analytical and scientific heritage, but was very involved also with the rest of the world.




While I am interested both in economics and in philosophy, the union of my interests in the two fields far exceeds their intersection.




I have not had any serious non-academic job.




I was born in a University campus and seem to have lived all my life in one campus or another.




But the idea that I should be a teacher and a researcher of some sort did not vary over the years.




I left Delhi, in 1971, shortly after Collective Choice and Social Welfare was published in 1970.




The student community of Presidency College was also politically most active.



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